The One In Which It All Changed – And Got So Much Better

Hello again my lovelies! And here I am as advertised! It’s time to get a cuppa and find out all the excitement that’s coming your way in 2022!

But first the serious bit! Over the last few years I have got busier and busier, you have commissioned me to make – well everything! Here’s some of my faves….

Beautiful lizards
Chair bunnies of a rabbit charity( wearing his top hat to look more in charge)
And the coolest bats in town!

This has been fantastic but my poor arthritic hands and elbows have taken a hit, and I’ve been having steroid injections into joints to keep going .

Which is fine ( I have a lovely dr who does them) but not a situation that can continue forever.

So, from January I shall be limiting my commission orders to two per month and I’ll let you know when those spaces have been filled .

What happens if they don’t get filled?

For a start I shall be making stock for the shop and I shall be bringing you some of the designs that I keep promising, like this one….

Yes it’s a Christmas doll but I’ll be starting this in January 😉

And maybe more things you or your little ones can wear, like this ….

A little bunny hat – the new ones will be crocheted

Plus of course making things for Epic Bizzi Box like these …….

A box of turtles and crabs!

Let’s talk about paintings now, I have loved the commissions I’ve done this year, like these…….

What a cutie
How dapper is this guy?

I want to extend this part of my business this year, because it’s not quite as stressful on my joints, I shall taking more commissions and testing out whether I can paint some landscapes and flowers😊

While we are on the subject of testing, I have started doing some digital illustration …….

Miss Darcey in a very cartoon style

I’d like to try some portraits digitally and I will be looking for testers for these 😊

Finally, I am going to write a book! Welcome to Darcey’s Wood will come out next year, to be followed by Milo’s magical forest, both centring around the wood near our house!

I’ve actually got a free ebook coming out at the end of this month, here’s a sneak peek …….

It’s called Darcey and the Big Treat!

Follow me on Instagram to sign up for a free copy!

Thanks for reading and I hope you are as excited as me for the New Year!

Kisses

Karen xx

Oh wait! There’s one more thing, there might just be a couple of ideas for subscription boxes on the boil, here’s the vision board so far….

Did I Blink And Miss January?

Hello kittens! And we are off to a flying start at WDS HQ! And we kicked off with a brand new design for a Friends obsessed munchkin..

He’s her lobster ❤️

I also made a where’s Wally or Waldo but I cannot find a picture? Which seems appropriate lol!

I then started a big order from one of my lovely returning customers, the first one is a larger version of the very popular sleeping unicorn …

We used all the pinks!!!!

And then to something a little sad, this little criceratops is for a a newborn whose mamma was taken from him way too soon. I personalised him with a rose that was her favourite flower and entwined their initials on the other side. I hope that he will get comfort from this in the years to come.

I made a bunny in a different style, designed by a very talented little girl….

Look at the cheeky thing in my lettuce bowl

I’ve also done something way outside my comfort zone and submitted this painting to Grayson Perry’s art club , this is my piece …

This is called Madness

Why have I called the piece madness? Because these woods have been a way of controlling my panic disorder, because they smell sooo good during bluebell seasons, the dogs and I become intoxicated and when I couldn’t see the bluebells during the first lockdown I was heartbroken!

And while we are on the subject of the woods, I took this picture on one of the coldest days recently -look at the frozen pond!

Such a cold morning

Finally, I am so happy to have a portrait commission that has turned into two this morning,! Here’s a progress pic….

This is handsome Freddie

Just to say I am closed until the 15th of March, in order to finish some orders and to get some Easter stock into my shop! There is one lonely bunny in there if you want to pay him a visit http://www.folksy.com/shops/whiledarceysleeps

The last thing I want to tell you is I have been vaccinated! I’m so very grateful for the way the NHS a has taken care of me and my family during this pandemic – I have no words for how much that little injection means to me.

Stay safe and I’ll see you soon

Kisses

Karen

How To Make A Bag Out Of Bluebells!

Hello loves! It’s no secret that I am absolutely nuts for the bluebells that carpet the woods at this time of year, I have taken roughly a bazillion pictures (yes I’ve counted), here is just one…..

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

In the past I have tried to prolong their magic by wearing Jo Malone’s gorgeous Wild Bluebell fragrance ( http://www.jomalone.co.uk), I have brought bluebells in from our garden……

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

The colour is without compare and how gorgeous is that little flower bridge? I am so lucky to have given it a home when my mother in law downsized.

This year I have decided I will try and paint a proper picture of them, I will be exhibiting again this year at our local arts festival and I think a picture of our local woods will go down well. I am determined not to rush and I will use all the proper grown up techniques…

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Not much to see and actually now residing in the bin, I wasn’t sufficiently happy with my washes so instead of painting something else I will try and try again!

So then, pretty much as it does every day, my mind turned to handbags, I have tried to find a really pretty backpack, these are my favourite at the moment but only if they have handbag style top handles so that I can carry it conventionally or on my back if needed, I started to see a bluebell coloured, satin backpack with zips and decoration in the green of their stems…

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Again I’m going to take my time with this, I need it to be the most perfect shade of blue and the right zips etc. Of course then my mind started seeing the perfect tote in rose coloured fabric…….

I’m blaming this lack of focus on my bluebell induced mania! Hopefully I will have some of the picture to show you soon, follow me on Instagram for the most up to date images!

Have a cracking week

kisses

Karen

 

 

Are You A Country Mouse Or A Town Mouse?

l live in a lovely town in mid Sussex, we are on a direct route to London and Brighton, and life is good, low crime, good schools and hospitals. So far, so smug, except times are changing, building is happening everywhere to house people like me who have fled the overheated property market that is London.

You all know how much I love my local wood, here is a view…….

image

And here is another one taken from the same spot, just facing the other way……

image

As you can imagine local opinion is very much that where we live has been ruined and indeed neighbours of mine fled to the Isle of Wight, citing the building as one of their reasons.

As an ex Londoner I love where we live, and took the following pictures of wildflowers in a single walk…..

image image image image image

This is my reality every morning, and I accept things have changed, even in the years I have been here, but the wood we have remaining ( and it is one of many in the town) still feels like a privilege, a great gift we have at our disposal.

So what kind of mouse am I? I’m a Mid Sussex mouse, who lives in the semi country but can get to London in 45 minutes and Brighton in 25, I have found my natural habitat and I love it!

Which kind of mouse are you?

Kisses

Karen

In And Out Of The Dusty Bluebells

Aaah bluebells, I adore them! I have fond childhood memories of picking huge bunches – it was the seventies! And now I am privileged to live a few hundred yards from some ancient blue bell woods. For me the gradual emergence of the bluebells is like the slow burn of a fire, this morning the first bluebells look a little like smoke hanging over the ground…. image Then they build to an indigo inferno, the smell is so intense it can make you feel slightly dizzy and as we know it’s sends Miss Darcey round the twist! image And then just as quickly as they came, they leave, last year they left me with a palpable sense of loss so I set about trying to replace them! I knitted this amazing pattern from Tiny Owl Knits, so I could wear them! image But that wasn’t enough, I needed the smell of them, I bought two Bluebell perfumes, one was Jo Malones Wild Bluebell… image This is a gorgeous scent with notes of grass and moss as well as the flower, it is £40 for 30 ml. i also bought this one from The Apothecary on Etsy, more floral and a bargain at £4.99… imageIt’s way more floral than the Jo Malone one but very pretty. ( don’t worry no bluebells were harmed in the taking of this photo, because the wood is so close we get ones springing up in our garden). And this year they are inspiring me to paint, I have in mind a series of pictures about a group of tough fairies, these fairies are trying to protect my ancient wood from the slow creep of housing that surrounds them. The first picture is underway…… image It features the Bluebell fairy riding a younger Darcey, holding her bluebell like a flag, patrolling her flowers and protecting them. The next one will be a fairy sleeping with the dormice that live in our wood, however  I am struggling with a name for these fierce fairies, any suggestions? please let me know.

Finally, some writing about my bluebell fire:

There’s a fire starting near my house,the first small blue flames have started and soon it will consume everything around it.

Soon there will be no smell available to you except that of the fire,no colour other than its colour will be visible.

No one will make any effort to stop it even though it will rage for weeks. And when it is time the fire will stop as suddenly as it started and I will weep for its return.

kisses

Karen